You’re going to need some wound care skills no matter what setting you work in. If you’re a hand therapist and working in acute care, if you’re working in private practice, outpatient type of setting – knowing what supplies you need is essential.
I’m going to share what I have in my clinic with you today. Prior to having my clinic, I had a lot of experience in a hospital setting and learned a lot about wound care. And I was really able to learn so much of that and then apply it to hand therapy, kind of that outpatient hand therapy setting. Then, of course, you’ve got all those people in acute care like post-surgery, still in the hospital, so many different things.
When it comes to wound care supplies, I love my little see-through containers because you can see through what you’ve got, but it also helps you stay organized.
On one side, I’ve got splint material in my cabinet, and then on the other side, I’ve got wound care stuff.
What I keep in my containers
You can have sterile fields, or you can have non-sterile fields. They open up and keep your towels clean and your tables clean. I have non-sterile fields in my particular setting, but you can have both if you want. Then I have different types of conformed wrap or Elastomull. It’s called Elastomull, and it’s just gauze wrap. It’s a type of breathable gauze wrap, and it’s a little stretchy, not too stretchy. And I like to keep different sizes for different types of wound care that we provide:
- One-inch – for fingers and thumb
- Two-inch – for hands or fingers
- Four-inch – for elbows
And then I have another box, and that’s where I keep my suture removal kit. I have tried a gazillion types of them, and the DeRoyal suture removal kit is my favorite brand because the pointy ends of the scissors are so pointy! So, you can get in there when your surgeons do tight sutures.
I keep a two-inch Coban and a one-inch Coban. So I own two sizes, four by fours and then two by twos, both sterile and nonsterile.
I have two types of tape. In essence, I keep two of everything. Two is a manageable number. Three is good too. You never want to start having more than three choices because it gets confusing.
I love some paper tape. It’s not just for wound care but also for scar management. I also keep transport tape. It’s just to tape stuff down, and it’s easy to tear. I like the normal saline that comes in a smaller bottle versus the big one. And then I keep Xeroform or some non-adherent dressing. I also have non-adherent dressing, and it’s called Adaptic. But you can have one or the other. You don’t have to have both, but I do like both. They serve different purposes. And then I have Steri-Strips here. I don’t keep a ton of them. I keep a few pieces. And, of course, your handy-dandy Band-Aids. You never know when you’re going to need a Band-Aid.
If you need a lot more because you see tons of wound care, you have a lot more. If you’re closely associated with surgeons or work within a surgeon’s practice, you might need more supplies or more of it, right, just because you probably do a lot.
I also keep alcohol pads and keep sterile cotton tips. Sterile cotton tip applicators. Now, these are great when you’re doing wound care because you sometimes need to get into crevices, and you want to use these. They’re great to apply. If you have some cream that you need to apply, you just put it into a sterile thing and then use a cotton tip to apply. So, it minimizes goop everywhere. And then I like these because they have a little ruler in the back and that’s how you measure it. And when you have a little disposable ruler, it’s perfect.
When working with simple to complex injuries, promoting healing and debriding a wound to progress your patient is essential, and BEFORE you do any of that – you need the right tools.
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